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Workshop on Human Factors Issues Associated with “Connected Automation” Applications

On July 20, 2016, from 1 to 5 p.m., FHWA’s Office of Safety Research and Development is conducting a workshop on “Human Factors Issues Associated with ‘Connected Automation’ Applications.”  The workshop will be held during the Transportation Research Board’s Automated Vehicle Symposium, which takes place from July 19 through 21 in San Francisco, CA. Participants will examine human factors issues associated with near-term deployment of “connected automation” applications, such as Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC). The workshop will include CACC results from experiments conducted for an Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program-sponsored study. Brian Philips will be presenting the results of this research. Although already demonstrated as technically feasible, “connected automation” applications face potential hurdles related to the abilities and limitations of the humans using them. The effect connected automation applications usage may have on drivers’ workload directly impacts performance and safety and influences one’s overall situation awareness. During moderated breakout sessions and facilitated expert panel discussions, participants will explore these challenges as well as near-term implementation questions and issues.  For more information about the workshop, contact David Yang, 202-493-3468, david.yang@dot.gov.  For information regarding the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, david.kuehn@dot.gov.


Past Events

TRB Webinar: Technology Readiness Level Assessments for Research Program Managers and Customers

On April 28, 2016, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., the Transportation Research Board (TRB) conducted a Webinar to present an overview of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Assessment for describing the maturity of highway research products. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) working with the Volpe Center developed the assessment. The Webinar included background on the assessment tool, examples of its use, and lessons on how it can be applied to highway transportation research programs. The first 60 minutes of the Webinar included presentations, and the final 30 minutes was reserved for audience questions. TRB Standing Committee on Conduct of Research organized the Webinar. For full details about the Webinar, go to http://www.trb.org/ElectronicSessions/Blurbs/173937.aspx . Contact Reggie Gillum at RGillum@nas.edu with any questions regarding the Webinar.


TRB Webinar: New Technologies for Renewable Energy in the Public Right-of-Way

On March 31, 2016, from 2 to 4 p.m., the Transportation Research Board (TRB) conducted a Webinar to present an overview of the results of two Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program studies on pursuing energy harvesting and application in the public right-of-way: (1) A Roadway Wind/Solar Hybrid Power Generation and Distribution System Technology;” and (2) “Kinetic-to-Electric Energy Conversion Technology as a Roadway Energy Harvester.” Project researchers provided their approach, results, and recommendations for advancing their technologies, The Webinar began with an introduction of the EAR Program and motivation for the research and ended with a question-and-answer session.  For full details about the Webinar, http://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/173859.aspx. Contact Reggie Gillum at RGillum@nas.edu with any questions regarding the Webinar.


EAR Program Sponsored Projects at Innovations in Travel Modeling Conference

From April 27 - 30, 2014, in Baltimore, MD, the Transportation Research Board held its 5th conference on Innovations in Travel Modeling.  The conference featured sessions that address a range of topics related to innovations in travel modeling including sessions highlighting FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program sponsored research on the use of agent-based models and simulation.  For more information, see http://www.cvent.com/events/innovations-in-travel-modeling/custom-18-477f7b8596454859ac120f90d9ebc56c.aspx.

International Workshop on Aging of Composites

From September 25–26, 2013, at the National Transportation Safety Board Training Center in Ashburn, VA, the FHWA Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program and the National Science Foundation sponsored an International Workshop on Aging of Composites.  The participants discussed fiber reinforced polymer material and component resistance factors based on available data, suggested effective methods to collect additional data, and identified procedures to refine and integrate information. They also sought to identify research needs for future research, development, and evaluation programs dealing with durability and design issues. Identifying these needs could possibly lead to realistic design, construction, evaluation, and rehabilitation guidelines. The full report is available at http://www.statler.wvu.edu/cfc/research/projects/aging.php.

EAR Program Sponsored Project at SXSW

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program has been investigating advanced technologies in computer vision, robotics, and artificial intelligence to improve mobility and navigation of travelers with vision impairment. Mohammed Yousuf, a research engineer with the FHWA Office of Operations R&D and the technical point of contact for an EAR Program-sponsored research project, presented at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference on March 7-16, 2014, in Austin, TX.  Yousuf was one of the presenters for a session on “Gaining Vision the Robotic Way.” This session explored the opportunities associated with advances in sensing and vision-free interfaces and robotic technology for route planning and guidance. Experts from government, academia, and the private sector discussed emerging trends in transportation and technology, and looked for ways to collaboratively work to further the research. Further details about the session are available at http://schedule.sxsw.com/2014/events/event_IAP21294.

Infravation Program Overview

FHWA held a web conference on February 27 to make U.S. entities aware of and prepare them for seeking partners for the Infravation Program. Infravation is Infrastructure plus Innovation. The objective of the Program was to increase opportunity for exploiting and accelerating the update of novel materials and new technologies for the design, construction and life-cycle operation of highway infrastructure. For more information, please go to http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/resources/infravation.cfm.

Workshop on Corrosion Management for Sustainable Bridges

FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program and Office of Infrastructure R&D supported a Workshop on Corrosion Management for Sustainable Bridges to provide input to a strategic plan and roadmap to guide FHWA’s research for enhanced Corrosion Management for Sustainable Bridges. Subject matter experts from relevant areas including corrosion, structural engineering, reliability and performance assessment, materials, construction/rehabilitation and inspection/monitoring determined technological needs and research to address these needs. The University of Akron’s National Center for Education and Research on Corrosion and Materials Performance along with FHWA’s EAR Program cosponsored the workshop as a 2½-day workshop from December 10-12, 2013, at The University of Akron in Akron, OH. The workshop attendees addressed various types of bridges, such as reinforced concrete, steel, and pre-stressed concrete and post-tensioned and pre-tensioned bridges. They discussed topics regarding models for degradation processes and forecasting; models for systems health monitoring, performance assessment, and service life; design, preservation, rehabilitation, and reconstruction; coatings and materials; inspection and monitoring, nondestructive evaluation and nondestructive testing and sensors; and cathodic protection and electrical methods. For more information on the EAR Program, please contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, david.kuehn@dot.gov; for more information on the workshop, contact Lou Triandafilou, 202-493-3059, lou.triandafilou@dot.gov.

National Multimodal Freight Analysis Framework Research

The EAR Program supported a workshop for the Office of Freight Management and Operations and Office of Planning  titled “National Multimodal Freight Analysis Framework Research.”  The workshop took place on December 11, 2013 in Washington, DC at National Academies of Sciences’ Keck Center.  Invited participants discussed the state of the art, primary gaps in current capabilities, and strategies for addressing these gaps, particularly in the areas of a multi-modal freight networks, freight demand modeling, and origin-destination data disaggregation. At the conclusion of this workshop, FHWA identified a set of topics that could be incorporated into future EAR Program solicitations, and ultimately inform the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) version 4, scheduled for release in late 2015.  For more information on the EAR Program, please contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, david.kuehn@dot.gov; for more information on the workshop topic, please contact Ed Strocko, 202-366-2997, Ed.Strocko@dot.gov

Advances in Concrete Research

On December 3, 2013, at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, FHWA ‘s EAR Program and Office of Infrastructure R&D hosted  a workshop on Advances in Concrete Research. The workshop provided a forum for discussing innovative concrete research, presentations of research in progress, and discussions of opportunities and continued research gaps.  For more information on the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, david.kuehn@dot.gov; for more information on the workshop topic, contact Richard Meininger, 202-493-3191, richard.meininger@dot.gov

National Congestion Pricing Conference 2013

On July 9-10, 2013, in Seattle, Washington, FHWA and the Transportation Research Board cosponsored the National Congestion Pricing Conference. The conference was designed to raise the awareness, advance the state of the practice, and identify potential research and technology transfer needs related to congestion pricing deployment strategies in the United States. The conference explored results from the six Urban Partnership and Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program projects. Innovative projects and studies implemented under the Value Pricing Pilot Program was also examined. In addition, speakers presented the results of travel behavior surveys conducted in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as Seattle, Washington. Karen White of FHWA discussed the Exploratory Advanced Research project on Congestion Pricing Experimental and Behavioral Economics; highlighting the use of these new tools for highway research.  For more information about the conference, visit http://www.etouches.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=63209&.

IEEE Workshop on Multimodal and Alternative Perception for Visually Impaired People

During the 2013 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Multimedia and Expo held in San Jose, California, from July 15 to 19, 2013, an IEEE/National Science Foundation Workshop on Multimodal and Alternative Perception for Visually Impaired People (MAP4VIP) was presented. It was led by the principle investigator for an FHWA Exploratory Advanced Research project on "Intelligent Situation Awareness and Navigation Aid for Visually Impaired Persons."  The workshop brought researchers and practitioners from multiple disciplines (computer vision, neuroscience, multimedia computing, sensor technologies, and assistive technology applications) together to discuss fundamental issues in visual perception, computational intelligence, neuroscience, and visual prosthesis for helping blind and visually impaired people and people working in visually challenged environments. The workshop provided the multimedia community a better understanding of human perception, human brain, and human-machine interaction issues for assisting visually impaired and challenged individuals. Specific topics include computer vision, sensing, and learning algorithms; visual prostheses and human-computer interaction; and neuroscience/biomechanical/psychological/societal studies.  Mohammed Yousuf, FHWA, served on the program committee for this workshop and can be reached at 202-493-3199, mohammed.yousuf@dot.gov. For more information, see http://www.icme2013.org/workshops.php.

Exploratory Advanced Research Program



NRC Postdoctoral Fellows Help EAR Program Solve Transportation Issues

The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) conducts research across a wide range of topics and disciplines. To supplement the expertise of the permanent staff, it is important to bring in researchers with the appropriate backgrounds to investigate specific problems at short-term basis. Through the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program, FHWA utilizes the Resident Associates (or Postdoctoral Fellows) program of the National Research Council (NRC) for this purpose. The NRC provides a process for selecting candidates on a competitive merit basis and subsequently for administration of the Resident Fellows during their tenures at FHWA. [More]

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